Listen to the stories of how artworks change from the people who work with them
The Lives of Artworks is based around Ima-Abasi Okon’s installation of works, currently on display in the collection route British Art 1930 – Now at Tate Britain. You’ll see a series of maps that use texts and photographs to show the different ‘lives’ of Okon’s artworks. One of these maps illustrates the artworks’ ‘social life’, which includes all the people required to care for them. Another map shows the materials required to make them. Others describe the ‘intellectual life’ and ‘possible future lives’ of these artworks.
This display draws on ideas from Reshaping the Collectible: When Artworks Live in the Museum, a research project at Tate. From 2018 to 2021, a team of Tate staff and researchers has thought about how artworks ‘live’, both inside and outside of the museum.
You are invited to write and draw your responses to questions about the lives of artworks. The questions address the materials which make up artworks, and how artworks are understood. You can also reflect on the networks of people that transport, install and care for art.
Alongside the maps of the artworks’ lives, you can see short films offering behind-the-scenes insights into how artworks ‘live’ in the museum – from Tony Conrad’s performance practice to net art commissioned for Tate’s website 20 years ago.
An audio guide is accessible in this display and throughout the British Art 1930 – Now collection route. You’ll hear from Tate staff about their work caring for art.
This gallery is formerly known as the (un)common space and is a site for learning and engagement with research happening at Tate.
Behind The Scenes
Join Tate researchers, conservators and curators as they attempt to conserve and recreate a complex performance artwork
In the Gallery
Listen to a visual description of artworks by Ima-Abasi Okon
In the Gallery
Listen to stories about how artworks shift and change from the people who work with them